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Oracle Open World 2012 wrap-up

My second open world has come to an end and I can look back with a good feeling. It was a great conference.

Open World is not all about getting your brain washed by Oracle PM's and sales reps. It's also about networking and catch up with partners or customers. I have to say, I had a great time doing both. My brain is now fully washed and I caught up with some lovely chaps.

Read more to find an overview of all the events and presentations I attended. Comments are more than welcome.

Updating metadata in a WebCenter Content Presenter template

I already made some post explaining that a content presenter template can do more than just present the content. You can add pagination or a read more link but you can also add real functionality that can be useful for the content owner or administrator.

For example in this post I will explain how we can add a link to the content presenter that will open a popup where we can update the metadata of the content.

Updating metadata of the content will be done by using RIDC which is the native API for connecting to WebCenter Content where the content is stored.

In this post I will not only show how to build this template but also how to use RIDC and reuse the connection defined in JDeveloper or Enterprise Manager.

Configuring WebCenter Content for WebCenter Spaces PS5

WebCenter PS5 has been released for a while now and people who have done some extensive testing probably know that there are some issues with content integration.

When Oracle releases a patch set, it releases it for all of the products within a stack. This means that at the same time of the WebCenter Portal PS5, WebCenter Content got his patch set as well. That patch set replaced the folders_g component with the FrameworkFolders component which has more benefits over the folders_g. Especially when it comes to performance.

There is just one slight problem with this change and that is that WebCenter Portal/Spaces is not yet ready for this change. it still uses services that are only available in the folders_g component and not in the FrameworkFolders component.

Using pagination in the WebCenter Content Presenter

A lot has been written about the content presenter and many people say it is a very powerful tool to integrate content from WebCenter Content into your portal. I fully agree with this but sometimes the content presenter lacks functionality that you would think would be out of the box.

One of those functionalities is having pagination when you have a lot of items to display. Suppose that you want to display the contents of a folder or the result of a query and the number of results can be very large, how will you display this in a proper way to your users? Simple, use pagination! But the content presenter does not support this so we will have to build it ourselves.

In this post I will explain how we can create pagination for the content presenter by building a custom content presenter template.

Using dynamic queries in the Content Presenter

In the past I already talked a lot about the Content Presenter. It is very powerful to display content in all sorts of way. It can interact with Site Studio elements and it is easy to use by using its wizard.

One of the hidden gems of the content presenter is not the wizard but the plain old input parameters you would expect from a taskflow. The wizard everybody uses to configure the content presenter is just a facade to hide the complexity of those input parameters. In most cases this is sufficient but when you want to do more complex things, you would soon bump into issues by using the wizard.

Suppose that you want to display a list of news items from different categories and display a filter so the user can select their preferred category. There is no way of doing this by using the normal way. You would need to introduce a parameter in the query of the content presenter.

In this example I will explain how it is done

Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum Malaga Summary

The OFM Partner forum in Malaga has just finished and it left some very good memories! This forum was even better than the one in Utrecht last year. A lot of the credits go to Juergen Kress and Hans Blaas who organized this event. They really did a very good job!

The venue of this event was in the NH Hotel at Malaga. A nice hotel with lots of room for all the people. My wife and I checked in on Monday and visited the city together with my colleagues from InfoMENTUM. Malaga is really a nice city with vibrant colours and people.

On Tuesday the event started at noon with registration and a lunch. This was the first opportunity to network and network is what I did. It's nice to see familiar faces from previous events. Some of them I met at the partner forum in Utrecht last year so it was a nice opportunity to catch up on the past year.

Enable Site Studio features in WebCenter Portal

One of the cool features of WebCenter Portal and WebCenter Content is that it integrates quite well into each other. WebCenter Content has a very powerful feature that allows us to create structured information based upon a definition of the data. The data will be stored in XML and we can create several templates to display the content.

These features can be made available in WebCenter Spaces by configuring the OHS properly. With a few tweaks here and there, we can also enable the same features in a custom WebCenter Portal application.

I already made a large tutorial section on how to enable Site Studio in WebCenter and how to work with these region definitions and data files.

The intention of this post is to show how to configure your application so all of the features like inline editing will also work from within WebCenter Portal.

Oracle Open World Wrap up

While I am waiting for my plane back home I couldn't find a better way to spend my time then to write an overview of how I experienced Oracle Open World.

It's my very first Oracle Open World and I must say, really like it. I met lots of new people, saw some very interesting presentations and got a few ideas to write blog post about.

Using WebCenter to its full potential

I have to admit, I'm a technical guy so these kinds of post are scares for me. I just felt like writing this because sometimes I have the feeling that people are not using WebCenter to its full potential. Let me elaborate about that. In the past I have done both projects for Oracle Portal and WebCenter. I most cases, the portal software was used as a framework to build applications. In just a few cases they were building composite applications. The only additional features used from the portal were features like creating pages at runtime, security. When WebCenter 11g was released I thought this would be better. Oracle puts quite some effort into explaining the added value of the Enterprise 2.0 services and how to use them properly in your business. It's a shame to see that a product of WebCenter not being used as it should be. It's not always a business problem but we, who know the product should tell the business what WebCenter can do and how it can help their business. In this post i share some more thought about how you can convince the business to use real features of WebCenter.

Summer of technology: Jumpstart your WebCenter Development

This summer, Contribute is presenting the Summer of technology. Every week we have a one day crash course for a specific technology. From PL/SQL to Coherence and WebCenter.

Thuesday 23 August is my turn to present a hands on session about WebCenter. In this one day course you will learn how to build rich Enterprise 2.0 portals with the latest version of WebCenter.

I will teach you the inns and outs about navigation models, resource catalogs and content integration.
If you are interested in following this session, please register now. It's free and the spots are limited!

Location of the course is in Kontich, near Antwerp in Belgium. This is not a virtual course!

Coming soon: WebCenter 11g PS3 tutorial

Now that my book is finally finished I have some time for a new project. I came up with this idea while i was working on my book and i thought it would be a great project for when i had some time... Being now! My book is all about administration recipes. It is not developer centric so it lacks a lot of information when it comes to developing your custom portal. We all know that most of the time we will be writing code instead of configuring the portal. That's why I came up with this idea. The idea is thati write a step by step guide to develop a complete portal. In every post I will talk about a specific part of the portal. In the beginning we will create a basic portal with basic functionality but later on, some advanced topics will be covered. I am currently preparing the tutorial and making a small table of contents. I also want your input so I can adapt the content of the tutorial so it fits all your needs. If you want some specific topics covered in the tutorial, please leave a comment explaining what you want and i might include it in the guide.

Creating an image gallery using the Navigation Model and the Content Presenter

Often you see that a portal has an image gallery of some sort. WebCenter unfortunately does not have an out of the box image gallery. Luckily there is some god news because it is not hard to create your own custom image gallery by just using the navigation model and the content presenter and a few lines of code. Navigation models tend to be used to create navigation models... Hence the name. With some creativity we also can use the navigation model for other cool stuff like an image gallery. The advantage of this is that we can easily modify the content of the image gallery by just editing the navigation model. All the content that we will be using is stored in UCM so we can just keep on using the features of UCM to have a good lifecycle of your images. You also can make use of the security of UCM so people can only see the images they should see.

Making Data Controls work in WebCenter

A few days ago while I was helping some guy on the WebCenter forum I noticed something odd about data controls in WebCenter. It was a data control created from an UCM connection. In that data control you have some methods to query the content server and show the results in a table. I dragged the parameters as a parameter form on the page and added the result as a table. When I executed the method, it just didn't work. It seems like the parameters aren't passed to the method so I don't get the results I wanted.

WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook is available

I am proud to announce that Packt Publishing has just released the WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook. It has been released under the Read As we Write (RAW) format. This format allows the publisher to publish the book before it has been completed. Currently only the first three chapters are available but every month, now chapters will be available. The final release of the book is planned for September. If you buy it know, you get a nice discount on the hard copy as well.

Enable UCM Check-In profiles in WebCenter PS3

One of the features in WebCenter PS2 that I thought weren't that good was the integration with UCM. I had a few projects were we definitely could use the integration of the Check-in profiles. Check-in profiles allow you to hide and/or preset metadata fields from UCM. This way when you check in a document, the user does not see all the fields and some fields can be preset for him.

Using CMIS query in Content Query navigation model

One of the new features in WebCenter PS3 is the new navigation model. It allows you build dynamic models . You can add all kinds of resources in the navigation model like external links, pages from your portal, taskflows, portals, content from a content server and so on. When your portal is content driven, you definitly want the ability to add links to different items based upon some criteria instead of adding all the content manually. This can be achieved by adding a content query to your navigation model. A content query is based upon the CMIS standard. CMIS stands for Content Management Interoperability Services which is a standard for improving the interoperability between different content management servers. For example Alfresco, IBM, Microsoft, SAP,... support this standard.

SOA & E2.0 Partner Community forum Utrecht summary

The past few days I was in Utrecht for the SOA and E2.0 Partner Community forum. It was hosted by Capgemini and they presented a very nice auditorium and other rooms.
It was very nice to finally meet some guys I have mailed a lot.
We saw some impressive implementations about SOA, WebCenter/UCM, WebCenter/BPM and learned a lot about the future of those products.

Finding a query in UCM using the query builder

I often need to look at the documentation to find the correct syntax for the query language provided in UCM. This is used when you want to integrate UCM with for example ADF or WebCenter and use the RIDC API. If you want to find documents, you use the GET_SEARCH_RESULT service. This service requires a queryString as parameter. UCM has its own query language and I often need to find the correct syntax. Luckely for us, there is a tool that we can use to build the query and just copy/paste this into our application.

Presenting content with the Content Presenter in WebCenter 11g PS3

The content presenter is a very powerful tool if your portal is content driven. The Content Presenter allows you to show content from your content server in your portal. You can use predefined templates or create your own ones. WebCenter 11g PS3 has been a big improvement for the Content Presenter. It is easier in use and more versatile. You can easily select content based upon a folder or query, choose a template and preview the result.

Webcenter and UCM integration

Integrating documents is a very important feature in a modern portal. Every big company will have severall documents and they want to display them on the portal so users can easily find the information they need. Webcenter provides several techniques on integrating documents from the content server with webcenter. In the paper attachd to this article you will find the techniques needed to integrate UCM on severall levels. From using basic taskflows to using the RIDC API.

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